iPhone Photography: Make Your Pictures Stand Out | Mariya Popandopulo | Skillshare

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iPhone Photography: Make Your Pictures Stand Out

teacher avatar Mariya Popandopulo, Photographer & Illustrator

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Let's get practical - lens, focus, exposure, memory


    • 3.



    • 4.

      Camera grid


    • 5.



    • 6.

      Add some action


    • 7.

      Use layers and frames


    • 8.

      Move close


    • 9.

      Try different angles


    • 10.

      Look for patterns


    • 11.

      Play with shadows


    • 12.

      Experiment with light


    • 13.

      Magical backlight


    • 14.

      Make silhouettes


    • 15.

      Timeless black&white


    • 16.

      Adding people


    • 17.

      Editing in Lightroom Mobile


    • 18.

      Editing - simple edit


    • 19.

      Editing - two more examples


    • 20.

      Editing - portrait in even light


    • 21.

      Editing - silhouette


    • 22.

      Editing - portrait backlit


    • 23.

      Editing - b&w


    • 24.

      Editing - additional examples


    • 25.

      Editing - conclusion


    • 26.

      Your project


    • 27.



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About This Class


Shooting on the phone camera really pushes you to improve and develop your photographer’s skills, as you can not fall back on expensive lenses or other professional photography equipment. The great thing is, it is possible to get better with the same phone camera which you have now!

In this class I will cover a few practical tips, a few creative ones, like adding shadows, shooting backlit or incorporating action into your shots. And I will also talk about editing and show you my editing process. Although some technical points are specific for the iPhone, the creative advice and editing sections are relevant to any other phone camera too!

So, lets take your mobile photography to the next level!

Oh, one more thing! 

For those who want to upgrade to premium membership, get 1 month of Skillshare Premium for free

Here is my link to use that offer.

For those of you who are not on premium membership, here is a link for a free enrollment in this class =) There are 20 free places currently.

Have a great day! =)

Meet Your Teacher

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Mariya Popandopulo

Photographer & Illustrator


Hi! My name is Mariya and I am photographer and illustrator based in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

I never could quite decide what do I love more - photography or illustrations, so Im doing both =D

I have illustrations portfolio on Behance

My preferred social media currently is Instagram (no surprise here =D)

I also post comics and doodles under Pinks&Roses name

See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Capturing pictures on the phone camera really pushes you to improve and develop your photographer skills, as you cannot fall back on expensive lenses or other professional photography equipment. The great thing is, it is possible to get better with the same phone camera, which you have now. Let me show you an example. These are my images made with my older iPhone when I was just getting started in mobile photography. At that point, I knew very little, if anything at all, about things like composition, and light, and editing. Okay. Now, these are the images made a few years later. Guess what? It was all made on the same phone. Hello, my name is Mariya, and then a passionate photographer. In this class, I will talk about iPhone photography. I made this class for beginners, those who are starting out just like me years ago, and the one to advance their mobile photography. I use my iPhone camera quite a lot, from selfies, of course, and beautiful portraits on the goal, and thinking lots and lots of pictures of our pets to more creative and storytelling pictures of places around me, and some funny moments when the phone camera is just so good to use because of how fast it is to take a picture with it. I love experimenting with minimalistic pictures. I also love to look for complexities. I love being able to capture dramatic colors around me and make beautiful pictures of the places I have visited, and iPhone camera is great for all of the above. In this class, I will share with you my photography process to make your photography journey easier and more fun. We will discuss a few practical tips, a few creative ones, like adding shadows, shooting backlight, or incorporating action into your shots. I will also talk about editing. Although some technical points are specific for the iPhone, the creative advice and editing sections are relevant to any other phone camera too. So let's take your mobile photography to the next level. 2. Let's get practical - lens, focus, exposure, memory: Let's get practical. In this section, some of the things, or maybe even all of them might seem obvious. But usually what I observe is that most obvious things are usually most often overlooked. Tip number 1, clean your lens. A super easy one, and a very obvious yet I see people doing this mistake over and over again and I do too sometimes. Clean your lens before you take the shot. The lens on the phone camera is so small, that people tend to forget that it is still a lens. Usually, it's not protected with a hood or cover and it is in constant touch with other things and your hands. Here is the example. The first image was taken without lens being cleaned. It looks okay, but now compare it to the second image. Here, I cleaned my lens before taking a shot. See how much more contrast this picture has. There was no editing done to any of these pictures and the difference is purely because the lens was cleaned. Here's another example. See the difference? Normally, I don't even have a cleaning clothes to clean the lens, although I strongly encourage you to have one because it's the right way to do it. When I'm out and about, I use any soft fabric I have at hand, typically it will be my t-shirt. Thing to remember, if you have to take an image and it appears to be hazy and not very sharp. First thing to do, clean your lens. In most cases, it will be the reason. It can also be that you shoot against light, but we will talk about back light in the following sections. Also, don't forget to clean your front camera too, if you take a selfie. Moving on. Get that focus right. Always select the focus point on your screen by tapping the desired area with your finger. Don't leave it to your camera to decide what's important and what's not. Especially when it comes to portraits. Focus on the face. iPhone has some good macro capabilities. Of course, it's not substitute for a proper DSLR with a macro lens, but it will cover your desire to take pictures of flowers, leaves, or even bugs and bees. But sometimes you will encounter a case when your phone will refuse to focus simply because the item is too small or thin. For a camera, it's really hard to find the focus you have in mind, if the object is too small. You can tap your finger on your screen for a long time and it still won't focus. Here's a little trick for you. In order to focus, use your hand. See, hand is a large object for the camera. You can focus on it, fixing the focus point by pressing for a few seconds. If the exposure is not right, use the exposure correction tool by sliding your fingers up or down on the screen. Remove your hand from the picture. Be careful not to move your phone too much so that the focus will stay tack sharp and take a shot. Here's a little video how I do it. Setting exposure. Setting exposure on an iPhone can be a bit tricky. The basic principle of iPhone exposure is, if you want your image to be darker, set exposure for the brightest parts. If you want your image to the lighter, set exposure to the darkest parts. Seems complicated? Well, let me show you how it works on my screen. Here is an algorithm you need to know. Focus on main object by tapping your finger on the screen where the object is. If the image appears to be over or underexposed, use exposure correction tool by sliding your finger up for making image brighter or down to making it darker. This is especially important for silhouettes, which I will discuss later in the class. Of course, you can correct exposure in editing, but in some cases, especially with high-contrast light like here, manual exposure adjustment will be required during the actual picture taking because editing after will not work. For example, here it is a very high contrast between shadow and light. If you just go with a phone automatic exposure, the image will look too bright. The problem here is that it is bright to the point where details are completely lost in the lighter parts. Even if we will try to bring down exposure in editing when image is already shot, it will not help the situation. As you can see, the third last image has almost black shadows, but the main focus on the picture are hands, and they're exposed correctly, hence, making this photo work. In cases like this, getting the exposure that you want, not the camera, while taking the shot is the key. Use the slider going up or down. Finally, practical tip number 4, don't forget to clean up the phone memory and export your images on their regular basis. I know this is really obvious, yet I can say from my personal experience, this is one of my biggest problems. Even with the larger phones and larger memory capacity, I still manage to run out of space quite fast, especially if I also shoot a lot of videos. Before you go on a trip or a place you potentially may want to take pictures, export your old images, and get that free space. 3. Light: Let's move into light and composition section. First, let's talk about light. Light is obviously the most important part in any photography but so much more in mobile photography. As a general rule, iPhone performs best in evenly well-lit situations. Images taken in poor light conditions will have more noise. Noise in the picture, is when your image becomes grainy, like on the image on the right here. Yes, there are programs to reduce noise, but no noise reduction program will ever match the quality of the picture taken in a good light conditions. That being said, don't be afraid to shoot when the light is not perfect. Just be aware of the quality of the image. Another thing related to light quality is that the less light camera receives, the more blurry your picture would be if you: a move your hand while taking a shot. Like here on the image on the left, you see the bottom part is quite blurred because the picture was taken from the moving train. Obviously, me and my camera were moving and b your object or model will move while you are taking the shot. Like on the picture on the right, where the bike is very blurry because it's moving. If you need your image to be as sharp as possible, you have to make sure, you as a photographer, hold your phone steady, maybe even using a tripod, and your object or model will not move as well. However, you can also use it to your advantage by adding the sense of movement into the picture. I really love the bicycle moving here, it adds dynamic and interest. I will talk more about this in the creative section. What you also have to know is that the light differs throughout the day, and the weather. Daylight, with strong sun, especially around noon will create the harshest shadows. A lot of times, colors will also look a bit washed out. See the first picture here with the guards. Shadows are very short and intense. The temperature of the picture is more cool. Evening or morning light is much softer and have more hazy, whimsical look. Like here on the image on the right, everything is much softer, there is more variations in the colors, and it's also much more warm. Personally, I prefer to do pictures with this kind of light. It gives my pictures volumes and colors that they truly like. Here is another comparison. Both pictures here are actually unedited and you can see the difference. You can actually do a little creative exercise by taking a picture of the same location, but during different times of the day, and see which light you prefer more. When using direct mid-day light is a good thing. Well, it is great for action shots, for moving objects or for objects that can potentially move. Camera would be able to use fast shutter speed to freeze the moment. There will be most likely no blurriness in the picture and you can capture every detail. It is very graphic and contrasty, so it is also work nicely with black and white photography. Then there is also overcast/cloudy light. The location will be evenly lit with no shadows and strong contrasts. This one is actually quite good for portraits. Speaking about portraits, here is an example. The image on the left was taken in direct sunlight. The shadows are quite visible and it is not very flattering. For one thing, it's very hard to keep eyes open when the sun is directly in your face. The second image was taken in a shadow, just a step away from the first location, where the light is even. Portrait wise, it's much more flattering. However, this doesn't mean you always have to opt for evenly distributed light. Shooting with contrast or against light is fun and can produce some awesome results. Just taking a portrait in the shadow or on the overcast day is a safe bet that you can fall back to if necessary. 4. Camera grid: Now let's talk about composition. I strongly advise you to use camera grid for composition. Your iPhone has a grid that can help you compose your images, and it is especially useful for the rule of thirds composition technique. Quick recap on the rule of thirds. The basic idea is that if you split your image into nine equal parts by drawing imaginary lines two vertical and two horizontal. Then the section of those lines are the perfect spots where your main objects should be placed. It will look more pleasing to the eye. Like here, the silhouette of a girl or the ship on the second image. Rule of thirds works equally well on both horizontal and vertical images. For me, rule of thirds is not really about perfectly placing the point of interest on one of those intersections, but rather making composition of center. Also, rules are meant to be broken and you sure should go your own way. But in my opinion, it is easier to start with some well-established composition techniques while learning and then do something of your own. I don't follow rule of thirds quite strictly, usually. As you can see from many of my pictures. But I do keep it in mind when I compose the image. With practice, this actually becomes automatic, choosing how to compose an image better. But let's get back to the camera a bit. If it's not on, you can activate it through settings. Just go to Settings, scroll down to Camera, and turn on the grid slider, it has to become green. Camera grid is super useful for two reasons. First of all, as I mentioned above, it allows you to compose your image in accordance with the rule of thirds. If you shoot for an old-school Instagram, which is making square pictures, you may also want to ignore the rule of thirds and put your main objects straight to the center. Square is an interesting format, but again, the grid on the camera will help you place your object in a perfect center too. Second reason why you should use the grid is to address the falling horizon issue. By this, I mean, avoid this happening. Just align your horizon with one of the horizontal lines of the grid when taking a shot to make a better-composed image. 5. Background: Watch for your background. Although modern phone cameras have the ability to mimic shallow depth of field, for example, portrait mode on the iPhone can blur the background. Here is a comparison in normal mode and in portrait mode. You can see that in normal mode, there are much more details in the background. In more recent models of the iPhone, you can actually regulate how much of a blur, also known as bulky, you can have when you edit your picture. However, to me, it's still a compromise. Personally, I don't use it that much in relying more on better composition and being mindful on what's happening in the background of the picture. Again, don't be discouraged from using portrait mode. Try and experiment and see what fits your photography style better. But just in case you want to shoot in normal mode, here are the things you need to consider. Depending on the situation, make sure to consider background because it will be part of the picture. If the background distracts from your main object, try different angle or a different direction, like I did with these two pictures. In addition, it's not only the objects in the background that can be distracting, but colors as well. Here's another example. On the image on the left, you can see something yellow in the background. To me, this yellow is not really contributing to the overall color scheme on the image. So I moved just a little bit to hide it behind the tree. This may be a very little thing, but it will contribute to making your images better. Here's an example with a portrait. The image on the left was taken from some distance, while the image on the right is a much closer crop. You can see that the second image is better composed as nothing distracts from the main subject. Obviously, it is highly unlikely that you will have a bunch of balloons to hide anything and wanted every time you shoot a portrait. Either recompose, move closer, or change the direction of the shooting. When undertaking a picture, be mindful of the background. Improvise, try different angles, directions. Sometimes a simple step to the side might improve the picture significantly, so, move around. 6. Add some action: Now we're on the creative part. There are a lot of things you can do to make your images interesting like adding layers or shadows, making seawards, and many more. Let's add some magic to your pictures. Number 1, add some action or movement. Adding movement and action will make your images more dynamic and interesting to look at. Yawning cat is always a good option. Yes. I take a lot of pictures of cats. What do I mean by adding action? Here is an example. The image on the left was my first image. I love the morning light that's why I took the shot. However, while trying different angles I saw a bird approaching and I was quick enough to take the second image, the one on the right. Now both are very similarly composed with the same main object, the statue, same light, and colors. However, the second image is much more interesting and complete. The bird almost seems like a part of the statue. It follows the direction of the hand of the rider and adds quite a bit of dynamics to the image. Sometimes you have to wait a little bit to add that action. Watch out for moving objects. Can any of those be included in your image to make it better? Adding moving object to the simple street shot just adds a bit of story to the image. Yes, sometimes you do have to wait for the opportunity to happen, and sometimes you will miss that one perfect shot. But overall, it definitely works to look around and see if you can add a bit of action. Sometimes you're just lucky to capture the moment, like this double splash. Also, remember we talked about images being blurry due to a lack of light. Well, in some cases adding a few blurry details can contribute to image dynamics. Like here on the image on the right my dog is usually moving very fast so I had to move first too. However, because I was in a hurry part of the image is blurry due to my hand movement. I actually think it makes picture more interesting and captures the moment better than if it was all in sharp focus. Another two examples of blurry movement. Again, most of the times your moving object will not be there and you will have to wait a bit if you want to add that little extra to your image, like in these two images. Finally, another way to add movement and action is to capture work in progress. Someone doing something, cooking, gardening, taking pictures. You don't have to capture the whole person or make a portrait to show the action. Hands are a great way to capture that moment and add a bit of storytelling into your photography. Again, on the picture on the right, you can probably see there is a blur. The image was taken at around 6:00 AM in the morning and there was not enough light. However, again, I think it works as having some movement helps translate the feeling of the work in progress better. One really useful tool iPhone, especially for action photos is Live Photo. You can enable it on top menu in the camera. It's a circle in the middle. It has to become yellow and then take a shot. Live will capture a series of shots, a video. Now, you can go to your photo library, choose the picture and go to Edit. In Edit you press Live option, same circle as before, and now you can choose the frame you like, maybe with more water splashes in my case. For example, I choose this one. I set it as a key photo and now I can edit it. This is the final result after editing. This is very, very useful, especially for action shots. I really encourage you to try it. 7. Use layers and frames: Add more depth to your images with layers. Try shooting your main object through other items like leaves, grass, anything that can add additional layers to your image, like the picture here. Instead of just taking a picture of a cat, I took a step back and found such an angle where green plants would be in the foreground. Because they're so close to the camera and not in focus, actually they are out of focus, instead of distracting from main subject, the cat, they draw attention to it by creating a soft frame. Also, they work really nicely with the eyes of the cat in terms of color. Let's see more examples with layers. In the image on the left, a simple shot with coffee is just more pretty with flowers, especially because some flowers are in focus while others, being too close to the camera, aren't, and together it helps create the depth of the image. The image on the right is a great example how different layers can help you tell a story. First of all, you see the dog looking up, and then you see that cat, who sits on wooden stairs, looking back at the dog. Then, there are a lot of other objects like box and shovels creating additional frames and layers. All of it contributes to an interesting image and the story. Similar to layers, having some sort of frame is a good technique to draw attention to your main subject. Here are few examples. On the image on the left, open doors acted as a perfect frame in this sense, it's a very strong frame, and it draws strong attention to the person in the picture. The image on the right shows another kind of frame, although it occupies the majority of the image. Because of its contrast and composition, it actually makes the main object, that's the red and white chimney, stand out even more. Frames are super fun to use, especially in a city setting. Once you start noticing them and trying to put your object of photography in a frame, it's hard to go back. I warn you, you'll see frames everywhere. Here are a few more examples just to show you how diverse and interesting this technique can be. The image number 1, you have multiple buildings and structures to create a complex frame for the Eiffel Tower. The second shot is also an example of taking a portrait during harsh strong light. The model is standing in the door frame and the indoors behind her are in shadow, but because it's a very strong light outside and the model is in the sun, if we expose for the model, and in this case we should, the background will become almost completely black, which makes a cool contrast to the model. On the third picture, we have part of the elevator cage on the left and the wall frame itself, all framing the cat and drawing attention to it. A few more examples. A frame can also direct to something specific like the eyes of the cat here. Trees can also act like frames and layers, as you remember from before, and another door picture. This time the doors are closed, but it is still a frame, which makes picture more interesting. 8. Move close: Move close. As I mentioned before, iPhone has some good macro capabilities. Sometimes to show off the best of an object, it is better to move really close. In the image on the left, you can see that it is a blossoming tree. However, the flowers are really lost on the background. It's not always possible to reposition yourself in such a way that background will be better. So instead of trying to take everything into the frame and ultimately not focusing on anything in particular, try make a real close-up. On the right, you can see separate flowers and it just shows the spring feel mood of the picture better. Same here with a cat. Doesn't mean the second image is better or the first one is worse, as a purpose is to try different formats. 9. Try different angles: Try different angles. Sometimes to add that little extra to image, change in an angle is a good idea. On the image number 1, you see the field and sunset through old stamps. The plants closest to the camera creates some sort of bouquet. You can see individual plants, yet you still get the feeling that there is a wide field in front of you. Shooting from a lower angle helped create more depths to this picture. Just compare it to the second image taken from the same spot, but from a normal angle, that is, I was standing tall. It is okay. The beautiful sunset and you can see a lot of the field in front of you. However, I think it just doesn't translate the feeling of a warm summer evening as well as the first image does. Here are a few more examples. I came across a field of poppies and tried different angles. Doesn't mean that the last picture is the best, no. The whole process of changing angles is to try more creative and curious approach. When taking an image, try different angles. Don't be afraid to experiment and move around. Actually, you can make it a creative exercise. Try two or three different angles of the same object. 10. Look for patterns: Repetitions and patterns. The world is a colorful and diverse place and I love looking for repetitions and patterns while out and about. Those come in many shapes and sizes. Repetitions and patterns brings order into the images and usually are very interesting to look at. I like when patterns take up the most of the image, that if you looked at it from afar, it would appear to be just a combination of colors. But when looked at closely, it will reveal details and logic like here with raspberries. Patterns and repetitions can be intentional, like the tables in the cafe here on the image on the right, or unintentional and imperfect like birds here on the first image. Flowers on the ground also look like a pattern. Even umbrellas here on the third image are forming some pattern. Don't get discouraged if the patterns are not obvious. Just keep your eyes open and the opportunity will present itself. Patterns and repetitions can be observed in a lot of places. But sometimes to stress the point of repetition, you have to compose your image in a way that leaves out all that is not related to the pattern. Like here, I had to change the angle of the shot and move closer so to get the pattern, leaving everything else like watermelons and boxes out of the frame. See how we just use change the angle suggestion from the previous section? 11. Play with shadows: Playing with shadow forms. I love this one. I love adding shadows that are graphical and somewhat whimsical and bring that extra bit of magic to an image. This is a case when direct light which we talked about earlier is beneficial. Strong direct light, that is light that comes from one source like Sun, will make shadows more pronounced and the overall effect stronger. On this image, you can see the shadow of the hand. The image was taken outside in the mid-day when the sun is high and the light is quite strong. Here are two more examples, both made indoors. First image was taken on a window sill and is a great example how shadows can show an object in a different dimension on the same image. The second image was taken late in the evening when the sunset sun was shining directly from the window on the right here. Hence the shadow is quite intense. Here are a few more pictures to show just how diverse and interesting shadows can be on the photographs. Here, shadows are not just an addition to the picture, they actually play the main part which makes it very interesting. 12. Experiment with light: Experiment with uneven light. Uneven light is amazing. It makes images so much more interesting and complex. Remember I told you that even light is the best for the iPhone. Well, it is still true. However, that doesn't mean you should not experiment with different kinds of lights. In fact, even light is a safe option when you need to capture every detail, make the image as noise-free as possible, or capture a flattering portrait. As we discussed before, uneven, contrasty, or selective light is about fun and creativity. It may be harder to master, but you'll get there with enough practice. It's better to show you what I mean with a few examples, as opposed to the previous section, shadows here are not the main focus of the picture. They don't have distinctive shapes, they are dark and their purpose here is to provide a sound contrast to your main object. You have to keep in mind that the right exposure is the key to these kinds of images, as we talked before in the exposure section. In this example, I was exposing for the apples and hence the background which is in shadow is almost black. It is very easy to miss the exposure. As a result, you may end up with apples that are overexposed and background, which is of normal exposure. I always expose for the main object of the picture. Remember we talked about it. To do so, I set the focus manually by tapping on the screen where the main object is. In case the cameras still overexposed the main subjects while holding your focus, move your finger down, it will bring the exposure down. Here are two more examples where I expose for the main welded object while everything else is in deep shadows. Again, you see that shadows do not play a main part, but they provide a contrast and a frame for your main object. A person in the cafe on the left or assembly tree on the right. Here's a comparison of the two shots. One was shadows and another without. Although both images are fine and the light quality is good in both. The one on the right is a bit more interesting to look at because of the graphical shadows. How do you get this kind of light? Well, you have to be observant of your surroundings. In the city, you may find this kind of flight between buildings, especially interesting, closer to sunset or sunrise when sun is at an angle. For example, here, the church is selectively leaked by sun that passes between two buildings. The second image has both some shadow from the building, but also uneven, dappled light. Dappled light is light coming through the leaves, like in this example. Once again, watch out for your exposure. Here my main object is the cat, and her exposure is correct. However, the book is overexposed, but I don't mind because it's not the main object. If there were no cat in the picture or I decided that the main object would be the book, then exposure for the book would have to be corrected. Like in these two examples, you can see that images are much darker and that is because the book pages are very bright, as opposed to cat. So when light hits them, they can easily be overexposed, hence, the exposure had to be brought down. Indoors. My favorite place for such light, are windows with pleated window shades or shapes with interesting patterns alike, on the image on the left. The light here come unevenly through the shades creating lighter and darker areas. 13. Magical backlight: Try backlight. Backlight is one of my favorite light setups in both DSLR camera and iPhone. Backlight can create stunning results as long as you watch out for your exposure and edit your image. Just to refresh your knowledge, backlight setup is when the light comes from behind your main object, like here. The sun shines through the tree, creating warm and colorful image. Because shooting directly at the source of light mimic your images very hazy, like on the image on the left, you can partially hide the source of light behind something like trees on the right. This will help you get more contrast from your image. Here are two more examples. Strong light from window is also a backlight like here. You can also see that this kind of light produce beautiful long shadows, especially if the source of light is low for example, it is early morning, like on the image on the right. Making portraits this way can be a bit more tricky as strong light behind a person will mean that the face, for example, will be in the shadow and most likely camera will underexpose it, meaning like here on the original shot, the person is just too dark. Either correct exposure manually by bringing it up while taking picture, or you can try to correct it in editing, and I will cover it in editing section. 14. Make silhouettes : Take your backlight to another level and make a silhouette pictures. That means you have to shoot against the light again. But you don't have to worry about the main subject being too dark because for the silhouette, the darker, the better. Three conditions have to be met. First, we already mentioned you have to shoot against light. Second, the light behind the main object has to be relatively strong for you to get a silhouette, third, the silhouette has to be against lighter background, for example, sky. Here on the picture on the right, you can only see silhouettes where they are against the sky. Everything below is too dark to form a visible silhouette. If your main subject is a person and you want the outline of his or her body to be sharp, focus on this person manually, we talked about it in the focus section. This time, you will have to lower the exposure manually, like I do here. 15. Timeless black&white: Add variety with black and white. Black and white images do have this timeless feel to them, and the iPhone does very good black and white photography. Black and white can also be a solution if there is an interesting story in the picture, but the colors are just a bit off. What great about black and white photography is that it teaches you to see the story, the lines, the subjects, the emotions. You can not use color to show your point, you have to learn composition and proper light to make very good black and white images. So when making such an image, think what story it will tell. It is a good exercise to any photography, but black and white just helps concentrate on it more by taking away the colors. 16. Adding people: Add people. Add some people, and I'm not talking about selfies here. Random strangers minding their own business. It isn't human nature to be curious about other human beings. The picture with the person, well composed of course, then to get a bit more attention than just the scenery. Next time you go, try to see how you can make people around part of your composition. Here is a comparison. In the first image, I actually removed people in Photoshop to show how the picture would look like if there were no people in it. With people, there is some sort of story here. Friends relaxing on the beach, enjoying the sunset. Although people are really small compared to the scale of the picture, once you look at the image on the right, they quickly grab your attention. By now, you have probably noticed that all of the strangers' pictures here are not portraits, and you can't really see the face. Most of the time, I prefer to preserve people's anonymity, and personally I find people's pictures without faces are more intriguing and mysterious. It's a bit more tricky, so here are my top tips to do so. Photography moving people. On bikes, or walking very fast in the evening like first image here. You have a sense that this is a very busy location with lots of people, but you can't really identify them. Shooting back light. The figure is completely dark and making a silhouette like on both images here. Taking a picture of someone who is looking the other direction or walking away from you. Generally keeping your distance like on both of these images and actually in a lot of images I have. There is a place, there is a person, but details are too far to be recognizable. Another way to add some human touch to your images is by not showing the person in full like here. Both images only hint on human presence but that's quite enough. 17. Editing in Lightroom Mobile: Editing. I have to confess, I love editing pictures just as much, if not more than taking pictures. Editing is like your personal signature. It can really bring out the best of the image captured. Mobile picture editing can be broadly divided into three ways. First, using a preset or filter, like the ones that Instagram offers, for example. Two, editing pictures manually, using tools like exposure, contrast, temperature, and others. The third one, combination of both. Applying preset or filter and then fine-tuning it according to your preference. Remember I showed you my very first images and more recent ones. Can you see why they differ? Mostly it's the lights and contrasts. The images on the light are much more bright, more colorful, more sharp. This is generally the approach I would use when I start to edit picture manually. How can I brighten it up? Ninety percent of the time currently, I use Lightroom Mobile to edit my pictures. It might look overwhelming in the beginning, but the availability of tools and how it works for me personally, it's unmatched. A Lightroom is free to download with some in approaches. I will show you my editing in my Lightroom. I will use only the tools that are free. Let's try. 18. Editing - simple edit: Let's start. I'm in my Lightroom library, and as you can see I have already pictures imported but let us go through this with you. You go to the blue button at the bottom with a picture and a plus you press on it; From Camera Roll, and then you have pictures that you can choose. I choose this ones, then I add. Now they're here in my editing gallery. Now I can go to whatever picture I want and start editing it. I'm going to start with something very simple, so let's start with this one. Basically with this when I look at the picture, I decide what I want to do with it. It's intuitive process, but again it goes with the style that you want to achieve. For me here I want more brightness and probably contrast, so the first thing I will do I will go into the light and I will try to increase the exposure. I like it. Maybe I want the white wall to be even more bright and white, so I can go to Highlights and increase them as well and maybe even Whites even more. Finally, I want a little bit more contrast in the cat. What can I do instead of going into the contrast because contrast will bring both, it will make brighter lights and darker darks but I already started working with white, so I want to work with darks separately. For this you can use either shadows. You see, only shadows are affected or the blacks. Again, only blacks. I'll just use a little bit of both and actually quite like it, and you can see. Here is it before, and here's after. It's a very simple edit. The basic one I do is just to make a picture brighter. Now, let's try another image. Let's say this one. The image itself is very nice, the exposure actually is very good. I don't think I want to change the exposure here, but I want to make it a bit more dramatic. Again, I will go into Light. We can actually try with a contrast, increase the contrast. It looks nice. Maybe I want my darker parts to be even darker and I can try it with blacks, maybe shadows. That looks nice. Probably, I wanted to make a bit more blue. I will go into Temperature. You see you have light, and the next one you have color. In Color you can affect colors obviously also temperature and tint of the pictures. I just decrease the temperature to six. You can see if I go all the way, it's completely blue. If I go here, it's completely yellow. To the right it's yellow, to the left it's blue. You don't need that much, I just go seven. With a tint is the same. To the right it's magenta and to the left it's greens, but I don't want to change it here. I think I'm done with this image as well. This is it before and this is after. It's definitely more dramatic. This image, this is backlit early morning in the park and I really want to make it very warm, so this is the opposite of what we just did. I will probably work with the temperature, but make it warmer. Let's start with temperature. I'm going to increase it a bit, and I'm probably going to add some red tint to it as well, magenta. I'm going to go to Light and increase the contrast. That looks quite good. This is before, this is after. Do I want anything else? Let's see, shadows; maybe a little darker shadows. Here is an interesting thing you can do in Lightroom, why I actually love it. In the section of Color you have Mix. It's a little color wheel at the top of your menu, on the top-right. You press on the Mix and then you have all the major colors, and here you can work with each color separately which is super useful. I want oranges in this because the Earth is orange and I want it a bit more dark, so I'm going to reduce the luminance. You can see if I bring it up, it becomes brighter and lighter. If I bring it down, it's getting darker; the luminance. I can also work with saturation. I can bring it all the way up, it's going to be very orange or down. I don't think I'm going to use it here. Finally, I can also change the hue of this color. I can make it a bit more red which actually I like. I can either make it more green, but in this sense I prefer red. I think it's done as well maybe a bit more temperature, but let's see. I think that's a bit too colorful right now, so maybe in the Color section I can bring the vibrance of it down like this. Let's see, before, after. I think it's good. As you can see, editing is a process, it's not just you go and do everything correctly. No, you have to experiment, you have to see what works better, and I like it. 19. Editing - two more examples: Let's try something different. Here, you can apply a preset, which you can find in the preset section. These are free, and you can choose from the ones that Lightroom suggests you or create your own. But you can also go here to the profiles. It's more on the right. The profiles are, they actually work like a preset I think. Then basically they bring the contrast and make your picture edited. You can go through different ones and see which one you like the most. For this image, I say I want to make it a bit more retro-looking and artistic. Number 5, looks quite good for it. You can also see that you can work with the intensity with a slider if you bring it to the right, it's more intense and it's more orange [inaudible] I would say. If you bring it to the left, it's less. I'm going to use it like this. This is the original image and this is with the profile. Now, maybe if I tune it a little bit. Going to bring the exposure slightly up. Shadows, nope. Maybe whites a little bit down but highlights a little bit up. It's okay. I think it's okay. Before, after. You can make it even more. I sort of adding the noise, but no, I think it's fine. Now, for example, I really like how this image worked out and I have another one which I think will look good with the same setting. Instead of repeating all the process again, you go to the top right corner with a little circle, with three dots in it, you press, and you have an option of copy "Settings". You can also create a preset, but I normally just copy settings. I copy, I choose whatever I want. Normally, you want everything selected I would say, but I'm going to keep it as it is right now, so I copy, and I go to the next image. You see the cat's tail here, and I do paste. This one looks okay. Then this is the before. This is after. It's a very subtle change, but it's more contrasted, more saturated. However, I think it needs a bit more light to make it lighter, and I also want to increase contrast. This is before and this is after. This is another way to use Lightroom to use profiles and copy the settings. 20. Editing - portrait in even light: Let's try one with portrait. Here, this is the original image. I'm going to start from the usual, from the light. I think it's a little bit dark. I'm going to go increase. When you increase exposure, this is extreme case, you tend to lose some contrast. I will probably bring a little bit of contrast back, increasing it, sliding it to the right, highlights. You see that at the top the white is like completely no details there. I can try to bring it down, but frankly I don't want to, so I'm going to leave it as it is. I'm going to bring shadows even more down to have more contrast. Now let's see with the color. I would say the picture is a little bit green. I would probably go with the tint and increase the magenta tint just a bit. Seven maybe. I will try to see what will happen with the temperature, I'm not sure I'm going to use it, I'm just going to see. This is a one. Definitely not my style. The warm, I think it's too warm, so I'm going to keep it as it is. What else can I do here? I can go into the mix in the color section. If I wanted to, I can actually change the color of the greens, because greens contribute to a lot of this image. Let's say I want to have them less yellow but more Cn, I can use the hue slider. For example, if I go here, the leaves will be more to the yellow part. If I go there, it's more like emerald green. However, this looks very unnatural. If you want to have this tint, but not so strong, do remember to bring the saturation a bit down. Well, maybe like this. Can also see if you want to increase or decrease its brightness, probably going to decrease a little bit. Done. Let's see before, after. This is the before and this is the after. What happened is that the picture became brighter. I worked a little bit selectively with the green color and that's that. It's just generally the process all the time is the same. It's searching for that solution for individual picture. 21. Editing - silhouette: This is more specific, this is the silhouette. Silhouettes are a bit more different to edit. Basically here you can go much more wild with saturation and colors. How I edited this picture, I will go to Light and I will increase the contrast. I will go to blacks here and decrease them to make the silhouette even more dark and pronounced. Maybe the shadows as well. Just a bit. Now, I will go into color and I want to have this orange, purple color here. I'm going to go and bring my tint quite a lot. This will not work on the regular light setting because for example, if it's a portrait, it will affect the skin tone significantly. But with the silhouette, it's fine and right now it's a bit too cool for me. I'm going to also increase the warmth like this in more tint like this. You see, it's very dramatic right now. Before and this is after. It's a very easy edit with just lightened color settings. You can also go into the profiles and see maybe one of them will work as well. But if you're already edited to the good contrast, applying profile after me, make it a bit too unnatural. I think I will leave it as it is, I quite like it. 22. Editing - portrait backlit: This is another back-lit image, but here, you don't want a silhouette. You actually want it more like a portrait. As you can see, the image was not really exposed for the person and the light is very strong behind. The face and most of the body is in the shadow. What you want to do here is to brighten up the person without losing completely the background. Because if you just go into the light and exposure and increase it like this, I mean, the person is right, but at the same time you lose pretty much everything that the sun lit. This is not what we're going to do. This is not what we want. We're going to increase exposure as much as we can, and then we're going to work separately with the darker parts. For this, we have shadows and blacks. I'm going to increase the shadows as much as I can. Actually I can quite a lot. Maybe the blacks as well. Maybe not. I think it's actually good. When you increase the shadows, you can lose some contrast. You can increase the contrast a little bit, just to give it a bit more definition. Generally, I like it because we still have background. Obviously, it doesn't have the exposure of the original image. You lose the color but it's still recognizable much better than when we just used the Exposure Slider. What I want to do here is maybe to make a picture bit warmer. I'm going to increase the temperature, but just a little bit. Back to light. I'm trying to see if I want to change anything else. I'm going to bring down blacks a bit and I'm also going to reduce whites in order to bring back some of the details in the background. This is the before and this is the after. Maybe it's a bit too bright, no. Actually I think this one is even better. Yeah. Bringing exposure a bit down, so before, after. 23. Editing - b&w: One more example with black and white. Black and white are very easy, basically you go to Presets then you choose black and white, and you choose the one that fits the image better. You just go through them and see what you like more, and in this sense I like landscape. Yeah, I think it works quite good. Maybe I want just a bit less contrast so I can either actually decrease the contrast. Yeah, it's good, I think it's perfect, so cut and after. 24. Editing - additional examples: As you can see, editing is a process. I like the process, I like of changing the sliders, see what fits better for the picture. For example, here the original image for me is a bit too contrasting, and it was evening, it was sunset, it was very nice, and for me, this picture has to be more soft. Actually here, I would probably go into light and try to decrease the contrast, and you can see that the image is becoming softer, and I will probably increase the shadows. What else can I do here? To decrease the contrast, I might reduce the highlights. Doesn't change that much to be honest, exposure is fine, and maybe increase the blacks. Let me reduce the blacks by going to the right, see it's darker, and it's lighter. Colour-wise, I probably wanted a little bit warmer, but also a little bit more pink. Here is the before and here's after. You can see also that people in this short are more visible after editing. Here, they're a bit too dark, and here, they are a bit more bright. This is sunset, actually it's soon as will be very easy to do with profiles I think. Because basically this kind of photography, it can be added with a lot of colors, so you can just find the one that works better. This one is good, you see. Before, after. Try editing, editing is fun, it really creates your own style, and it really brings out the best in the pictures. I hope you enjoyed it. 25. Editing - conclusion : All right, one last thing, I showed you editing in Lightroom. However, the principles of working with exposure, or shadows, or contrast, or color, are applicable across other editing programs. For example, even on iPhone, if you go into your photo library and you go to edit, you have all the tools here as well, contrast, brightness, colors, everything. You can use the same principle here too, its just for me Lightroom offers more tools, but you can use any other program with the same strategy. I really hope that you will enjoy your editing, that you will try and you'll find the ways to make your pictures uniquely yours. Good luck. 26. Your project: Your project will include a few steps. I want you to choose free creative suggestions, I talked about in this class and try each one day at a time. For example, on Monday, you will try to incorporate shadow forms into your image. On Tuesday, you will look for action and movement and make a dynamic picture. Finally, on Wednesday, you can do black and white image, and concentrate on a story without colors. This is just an example. You can choose any free topics mentioned in the creative section and do them any day of the week depending on the situation. For example, for shadows, you would need strong light, if the day you wanted to make this picture is overcast, choose another device to practice. You can post all of your images at once, when you complete the free day challenge or post one at a time. Let's get creative and I can't wait to see your pictures. 27. Conclusion: One final thought. Although I'm all for making pictures better, choosing the light and composition, a lot of times, you will find an interesting situation where conditions would be far from perfect for your phone camera, and I say, go for it because it may not be an Instagram quality picture, but it will be precious to you and it is nice to make personal images too.